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Fighting for Women's Health

America’s pharmaceutical companies are making exciting progress in the search for new treatments for diseases of special concern to women.

We live in an era when we understand more about the difference between the sexes and their healthcare needs. This knowledge is inspiring a continuing medical revolution that is bringing new hope to women around the world. 



In 2008, females comprised 50.7 percent of the 304 million people residing in the United States. In most age groups, women accounted for approximately half of the population, with the exception of people ages 65 and older, where women represented 58 percent of the population. A baby girl born in the United States in 2007 could expect to live 80.4 years; that’s 5.0 years longer than a male baby, whose life expectancy would be 75.4 years. Among older adults, physical disabilities are more prevalent among women than men.

Overall, 68.4 percent of women and 54.4 percent of men ages 65 and older reported having an activity limitation in 2008. America's pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies are developing 851 medicines for diseases that disproportionately affect American women. We live in an era in which we understand ever more about the difference between the sexes and their health care needs. This knowledge is inspiring a continuing medical revolution that is bringing new hope to women around the world.

1 in 3

Women have a lifetime risk of a little more than 1 in 3 of developing cancer. Including breast cancer and gynecolgic cancers such as ovarian and uterine cancer, an estimated 739,940 women were diagnosed with some form of this devastating disease in 2010. An estimated 207,090 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2010. It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, excluding cancers of the skin

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Eating Disorders

Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, and bingeeating disorder) in the United States. However, women are much more likely than men to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.

Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents. An estimated 0.5 percent to 3.7 percent of women suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime.

New Medicines in Development For Women

25%



Of Breast Cancer Patients Had Tumors Successfully Shrunk in Clinical Trials

One medicine now in clinical trials for metastatic breast cancer combines two treatment approaches into one medicine – a targeted monoclonal antibody and an already-approved anti-cancer drug. The medicine targets cells that are overproducing HER2 (a cause of some breast cancers) and delivers a powerful chemotherapy agent to the tumor where it kills the cancer cells with limited treatment-related side effects. In clinical trials, the medicine shrunk tumors in 25 percent of women with HER2-positive breast cancer.

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270,290

Women Died from Cancer in 2010.

The three leading causes of death among American women are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. An estimated 39,840 died that year from Breast Cancer specifically, the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, excluding skin cancer.

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Medicines in the Pipeline

America's pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies are developing 851 medicines for diseases that disproportionately affect American women.

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Related Medicines

  • afimoxifene

    A drug in Phase II that reduces increased breast density which can obscure mammogram readings

  • misoprosto controlled-release insert

    A drug in Phase III of development for the purpose of labor induction

  • hyperglycosylated follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

    A drug in Phase II of development that is designed to treat female infertility

  • farletuzumab

    This drug to treat ovarian cancer is currently in Phase III of development.

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Resources

View and download more information on medicines in development for diseases disproportionately affecting women: